The Georgia Council of Chiropractic, The Georgia Chiropractic Association and Life University, in order to develop a “Unity of Purpose” and a strong working relationship in the state of Georgia, embarked upon a project to develop a common, agreed upon definition of chiropractic. The resulting document was signed by the Presidents of the organizations, and those members of the committee who had worked together to finalize the language.
The document reads as follows:
THE FOUNDATIONAL TENETS OF CHIROPRACTIC
We embrace the concept that chiropractic philosophy, chiropractic science, chiropractic art, chiropractic technique, chiropractic diagnosis and spinal subluxation complex denote areas of ongoing research, continuing intra- and inter-professional dialogue and growing understanding.
We embrace the philosophy that life is intelligent. The human body possesses the inherent potential to maintain itself in a natural state of homeostasis through its innate, inborn intelligence.
We maintain that the science of chiropractic emphasizes the relationship between structure, primarily of the spinal column, and the nervous system, and how that relationship affects function and health. Implicit within this statement are the significance of the nervous system to health and the effect of the spinal subluxation complex upon the whole body.
We hold that all chiropractors should recognize the value of all phases of patient care, including condition-based care, health care and developmental care, as well as both therapeutic and non-therapeutic approaches to patient care. Individual chiropractors may choose to focus on one phase of patient care, one demographic segment of the patient population or one area of chiropractic expertise. They may also choose to become a certified specialist in one particular facet of chiropractic. Such specialization should require advanced, post-graduate education.
We recognize that:
· The primary clinical objective of chiropractic is the enhancement of human health through the adjustment of the subluxation, and that;
· Diagnostic expertise in chiropractic should focus on differential diagnosis of spinal subluxation complex, with other conditions assessed at a level of diagnosis appropriate for chiropractic management, or intra- and inter-professional referral, (referential diagnosis), and that;
· Spinal subluxation complex involves at the least biomechanical and related neurological dysfunction, and that;
· “Adjustment” in chiropractic refers to a specific spinal manipulation directed toward the objective of the reduction or correction of spinal subluxation or extra-spinal subluxation complex .
We recognize that core chiropractic competencies include:
Patient assessment, diagnosis, adjustment, patient education, management, referral, and co-management.
We maintain that chiropractic care incorporates the use of diagnostic and adjustive procedures when indicated, including some or all of the following:
- Patient history
- Physical examination
- Examination for spinal or extra-spinal subluxation complex
- Biomechanical functional assessment
- Laboratory and imaging studies
- Spinal and/or extremity adjustment
- Chiropractic case management
- Spinal Hygiene
- Patient education
- Participation in coordinated care
We maintain that chiropractic care focuses primarily on the chiropractic adjustment. Procedures ancillary to this and the other core chiropractic competencies are and should remain optional components of the practice of chiropractic.
These ancillary procedures may include some or all of the following:
- Spinal/extremity manipulation
- Nutritional supplementation
This list is not intended to be inclusive of all services ancillary to chiropractic that may fall within the scope of chiropractic licensure of a particular jurisdiction.
We hold that the conservative essence of the practice of chiropractic is not consistent with the performance of surgery or prescribing, administering, or dispensing of pharmaceuticals.
We further hold that the full spectrum of chiropractic practice from broad-scope to focused-scope will be defended equally, vigorously and pro-actively in order to protect the rights of all chiropractors to practice in the manner and method they deem appropriate within the law.
Your thoughts and comments are welcome and are very much appreciated.
The opportunity now exists to present positive, accurate information about chiropractic care to those with health challenges at the exact moment they are in need of care.
According to recent research by the non-profit Pew Internet & American Life Project, seventy-nine percent of Internet users have searched online for information on at least one major health topic. That translates to about 95 million American adults using the Internet to find health information or about 9 to 10 million Americans on any given day.
The Pew Internet & American Life Project’s previous research found that online health seekers are often motivated to search out information that relates to actions they might need to take for specific health issues in their lives. For instance, they (or people they love) might have experienced health symptoms that worry them and Internet users search for information about whether they would be wise to visit a doctor. Or, they might have just received a diagnosis and want to learn more about their particular condition.
In many cases, online health seekers are action-oriented and highly purposeful because there is a pressing medical issue for them to address. Since it is highly likely that the issue they face may have nerve system involvement, how likely is it that the Internet user will find accurate, positive information on chiropractic that will encourage them to see a chiropractor? The answer to this question could have a far greater impact on the future of chiropractic than one might expect. In order to understand why, we must look at what Internet users are doing online. The Pew Internet & American Life Project’s research found the top five activities of Internet users searching for health information are as follows:
- Tentatively diagnose their own diseases
- Confirm their doctor’s diagnosis and suggested treatments
- Check their doctors’ credentials
- Research all available treatment options – not just those recommended by doctor
- Give themselves a crash course on a specific medical condition when they (or someone they love) is diagnosed
Clearly these activities indicate a course of action is being formulated. This is precisely the time when accurate, positive information on chiropractic care can have the greatest impact. The Internet provides, for the first time in history, the ability to reach those in need of care at the exact moment they are deciding the form that care should take. So, how well is the chiropractic profession currently represented on the Internet to take advantage of this opportunity? You can see for yourself. Using Google, the world’s leading search engine, perform a search on the term “chiropractor”. What you find should cause you great concern.
As of 6/15/2009 , a Google search on the term “chiropractor” returns a a somewhat less than flattering Wikipedia entry as the number one result. A Bureau of Labor Statistics overview of “a career as a chiropractor” is the number two result and the third result is a condemnation of the profession titled “My Visit to a Straight Chiropractor” by Stephen Barrett MD on his website, Chirobase.com, which is dedicated to disparaging chiropractic. The fourth result is an article on the Spine Universe site that states that chiropractic is “a popular pain treatment”. And the remaining results are not much more encouraging. There is nothing presented that will inform a consumer with a specific health challenge how they may benefit from chiropractic care.
You may be wondering how this affects you. Maybe you don’t have a website and don’t concern yourself with Internet search habits. You rely on tried and true methods of new patient acquisition like personally delivered health talks and referrals from satisfied patients. This situation impacts you as much as the chiropractor that has spent thousands of dollars building and marketing his/her own web site.
Google, which handles 72% of all search traffic according to SearchEngineWatch.com, had 168,100 searches conducted on the term “chiropractor” in May, 2009. That means 168,100 Internet users were exposed to Stephen Barrett’s anti-chiropractic sentiments in May, 2009 alone.
How many of these Internet users were potential new patients referred by a loyal practice member or attendees at your most recent health talk who decided to do a little research prior to scheduling an appointment? How many of your patients have suggested that their spouse schedule an appointment, only to have them go to Google, become sucked in by the anti-chiropractic rhetoric and become forever poisoned to the idea of chiropractic care? They may even take their new found “knowledge” and talk your patient out of returning for their next visit. No one can say how many patients you have lost to the current Google situation, but it is safe to say you are not immune.
We know, however, from the Pew Research and Google keyword statistics, that the vast majority of the 9-10 million daily web surfers are not searching on the terms chiropractor or chiropractic (as they have no idea that their nerve system may be a factor in the health challenges they face). We also know that the majority of these Internet health seekers begin their quest for information at a search engine (72% using Google) and that they search on the symptom, diagnosis or condition from which they or their loved ones are suffering.
So what if an Internet user has just been told by a physician that they suffer from fibromyalgia? We know that four of the top five activities most frequently performed by Internet users seeking health information relate to a particular symptom, condition or diagnosis. A Google search on this term ( a condition, symptom or diagnosis) returns exactly zero results that mention chiropractic care as an option. Surely since many chiropractors see patients with “back pain” there will be many results from a search of this term which provide accurate, positive information about chiropractic. Think again. Not in the first 198 results displayed. The ACA website appears at 199 as of this writing. And guess what is among the first 100 results: Quackwatch.com by Stephen Barrett.
Term after term, condition after condition the results are the same. Except for an occasional sponsored link, there is no mention of chiropractic in the search results for any of the myriad conditions for which chiropractic has been proven safe and effective.
So what can be done to correct this and to take advantage of the opportunity described in the beginning of this article? Our consumer oriented site at www.YourSpine.com, provides positive, accurate information about chiropractic and lays the foundation on which to build a much brighter future for the chiropractic profession. We provide valuable patient education material on specific conditions for which chiropractic is most effective. We use detailed graphics and animations to educate Internet health seekers on spinal anatomy and the composition and function of the skeletal and nervous systems. We demonstrate how spinal fitness greatly impacts overall health and quality of life. We explain the many degenerative diseases associated with neglect of the spine, the drugs and surgeries used to treat them, along with their sometimes disastrous side effects. And most importantly, we demonstrate the important role chiropractors play in finding and correcting subluxations.
We provide content designed to be “found” by the major search engines when an Internet user searches for information on chiropractic as well as specific symptoms, diagnosis and conditions. We combine this with search engine optimization techniques and use paid search engine advertising to drive those in need of care to the site at the exact moment they are in need of care, deciding what form that care should take and who will provide it.
Presenting chiropractic in a positive way to online health seekers who are action-oriented and highly purposeful because they have a pressing medical issue to address dramatically increases both awareness and utilization. With this repository of valuable consumer information available and easily found by Internet health seekers, we drive people to the site rather than sit passively and wait for them to come. We utilize a world class public relations firm to facilitate national exposure throughout all news outlets: Internet, television, newspapers and magazines. These very same public relations firms have successfully turned lackluster drugs into household names. In the future, with this strong foundation in place, we plan to run cutting edge television and print ads that reinforce the message. This is a three tiered approach, utilizing advanced Internet technology, world class public relations and creative advertising.
With the food, beverage, diet and drug industries all promoting health compromising products to consumers through national promotional strategies, you cannot be expected to compete for consumer attention on your own. You need and deserve help. By coming together and taking advantage of an initiative like the one described here, you become a force, a force that is an attractive partner to national non-profit and corporate sponsors trying to reach the same key demographic, those actively seeking to improve their health. This opens the door to co-sponsored national events, public relations exposure, increased credibility and greater cultural authority. You may not be able to outspend them, but with radical strategies and an aggressive agenda, you can certainly out-think them. Imagine proper care and maintenance of the spine being as important to the health care consumer as the care and maintenance of their teeth. Have you tried to make a same day dental appointment recently? Better yet, don’t imagine. Make it a reality.
To make your practice part of the growing network of Chiropractic America certified chiropractors and to secure your exclusive zip code allocation in this groundbreaking opportunity, visit: Doctors.YourSpine.com to sign on today!
Dr. Bill Kinsinger, the MD behind the Necks911 campaign and a fellow who claims credit for derailing the FSU chiropractic college effort is being invited to deliver his anti-chiropractic rhetoric to paying audiences as part of the continuing education program of the University of Oklahoma, Department of Rehabilitation Sciences and the Oklahoma Physical Therapy Association continuing education program. The video is viewable here:
The video was produced by the Board of Regents of the University of Oklahoma. The event description and brochure can be found here:
The video of the presentation is now being used to educate the future doctors of physical therapy who will soon begin to graduate from more than 187 doctorate physical therapy degree programs in the US. The curricular use is described here:
Clearly the Neck911 leader is finding wide acceptance. This type of malicious, slanderous assault on the chiropractic profession delivered by a medical doctor to medical doctors is a possible violation of the AMA antitrust settlement which resulted from the Wilke v. AMA trial.
Chiropractic America has taken up the legal challenge to defend chiropractic in the past (Chiropractic America v. LaVecchia and Chiropractic Alliance of New Jersey v. Parisi), and prevailed in each of these cases. But we have since resolved to focus all of our efforts on public relations and advocacy and to leave the legal challenges to the organizations within the profession which are better suited to deal with legal and legislative issues.
We are grateful to all of those who are helping us to make chiropractic part of the American public’s thought process. As we grow, so does our ability to spread the word on our members’ behalf and give chiropractic its deserved place in the hearts and minds of the American people. The best defense is a strong offense and we are on the offensive, spreading the chiropractic message.
Chiropractic America has launched a new website to provide free local search optimization as well as behavioral statistics of online health seekers to chiropractors. The mission is to see to it that those seeking information via the internet are introduced to a subluxation based chiropractor when they seek a chiropractor online. For far too long, consumer understanding of chiropractic has been shaped by the medical profession and the segment of the chiropractic profession that most closely duplicates the allopathic medical model.
Our 113 year history of drugless health care has never been communicated effectively to the public. Until now. By providing free instruction on how to increase visibility in the major search engines and take full advantage of the incredible opportunity which the Internet provides, we free up chiropractor’s resources previously spent on individual websites, yellow page advertising and other out-dated marketing methods. The savings can then be used to reach out to the 95% of the population who are unaware that the health of their spine has a major impact on their overall health and wellbeing. Pooling the resources of thousands of leading chiropractors, we have created a powerful marketing engine to educate health care consumers nationwide about the importance of spinal health, motivate them to seek chiropractic care, and direct them to exclusive local partner practices.
A series of instructional videos has been developed which will provide information and instruction on how to minimize advertising expense while maximizing results. The term “Unity” has been bantered about for many years in our great profession. But never before has a comprehensive plan been put forth to unify like minded chiropractors behind a common, cooperative marketing program like that which we have created. Chiropractic marketing is in need of an adjustment. When the power of the chiropractic adjustment meets the power of the Internet to reach a global audience with our message of hope and healing, the new patient problem will be solved once and for all.
Chiropractic America was the first company to create a chiropractic website, the first company to air national television advertisements for chiropractic, the first company to run national magazine advertisements for chiropractic, the first company to air national radio advertisements for chiropractic and is now the first company to bring a world class health care public relations firm to the table to promote chiropractic, Feinstein Kean Healthcare, the health care division of Ogilvy PR Worldwide.
It all began when The Chiropractic Alliance of New Jersey was formed in 1992 to advocate for the chiropractic profession. Almost instantly they had an impact, filing a Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) lawsuit against the New Jersey Department of Insurance, Fraud Division and the state’s 12 largest insurance carriers (Chiropractic Alliance of New Jersey v. Parisi). Their lawsuit was designed to stop the practice of using uninvestigated and unsubstantiated allegations of insurance irregularity to essentially extort civil fines from chiropractors and other healthcare practitioners. (Most chiropractors, despite having done nothing wrong, would choose to pay the fines rather than face the prospect of the Division significantly disrupting or shutting down their practices to conduct a baseless investigation.)
The case was decided in favor the Chiropractic Alliance of NJ and this illegal practice was halted. Louis Parisi, the longtime director of the Fraud Division under whose tenure this practice became commonplace, resigned shortly thereafter. Richard Jaffe Esq., a Houston health care attorney who led the fight stated afterward that this was the first time the RICO Act had been successfully used against a governmental investigative body. “Dateline NBC” did a feature story on this lawsuit as it resulted in the reversal of similar laws disproportunately attacking chiropractors in 17 other states.
On the heels of this monumental victory, The Chiropractic Alliance of New Jersey was incorporated as the Whole Health Chiropractic Network (later renamed Chiropractic America) in 1994 with the goal of extending beyond advocacy to promotion of the profession. The vision was to create a unifying public relations and advertising campaign that would be both affordable for all doctors and reach millions of prospective patients with the chiropractic message.
Chiropractic America developed a marketing strategy for chiropractors that mirrored the highly successful 1 800 DENTIST program which was redefining dental care in the United States. Company founder, Gary Pomeroy, knew that public relations, advertising and a unified national strategy were needed if chiropractic was ever to gain the mainstream acceptance it so rightfully deserved. This was the first national marketing/public relations effort for chiropractic ever created and was one of many firsts for the profession that Chiropractic America accomplished.
On February 27th, 1995, the first full page, full color chiropractic ad ran in People magazine. For the first time in history, national media exposure benefiting the profession of chiropractic with a strong positive message about the benefits of care and a national 1-800 referral service was directing patients to participating chiropractor’s offices from New York to Hawaii. The battle to get these ads placed in Time Warner and other major publications was hard fought, but tenacity paid off. Full page, full color ads in People, Newsweek, Better Homes and Gardens, Good Housekeeping, Redbook, Woman’s Day, Country Living, Home Magazine, Working Mother and others followed and continued through 1998.
In March 1996, Chiropractic America built the first chiropractic website, www.ChiroUSA.com. The site won several awards including the Looksmart / Microsoft award for creative sites. The ChiroUSA site was honored as being one of the first 450 database driven websites in the world. This award included a feature story in Reader’s Digest which gave the site national exposure at no cost to the member doctors. This was the first national public relations coup for chiropractic, Chiropractic America and its members: free national PR.
Throughout 1996, Chiropractic America produced dozens of 30 and 60 second television spots. The commercials were produced by Chiropractic America and Intermedia Inc. of Los Angeles and featured chiropractic patients directly from member practices along with Mark Victor Hansen, Joe DiAngelis (Mr. Universe), Judy Norton of the Walton’s and other celebrity chiropractic patients. Hundreds of commercials aired nationally on cable networks from 1997 to 1999. The first ever nationally aired, network television, prime time commercials for chiropractic ran during the NBA playoffs June 10th,12th, 14th and 17th 1998 followed by the US Open Championship, the Michigan 400 Nascar race and the Pennzoil 200 Indy car race later that same month.
Also in 1998, radio commercials were added to the effort. The commercials were written and produced by Gary at the WABC Studio in New York. More than 1,000 commercials aired on nationally syndicated radio shows including Dr. Laura, Ken Hamblin, Sean Hannity and many others.
That same year, Gary negotiated the first national major media sponsorship for chiropractic. Chiropractic America and New York’s WABC radio, the top syndicated news/talk radio station in the country co-sponsored Chiropractic Awareness Month in January and 160 radio spots aired on topics that included: chiropractic care for the prevention of illness and injury; pain relief; treating the source of disease through chiropractic care; and the vertebral subluxation and its related dangers. The spots were written and produced by Gary and were read on air by WABC radio hosts. Others were co-written and recorded for broadcast by Dr. Bob Hoffman and Drs. Stuart and Theresa Warner. In addition, WABC ran 12 public service announcements per week promoting Chiropractic Awareness Month.
While working diligently to promote chiropractic, Chiropractic America became aware that the New Jersey legislature wanted to rein in the increasing cost of automobile insurance. Their solution was to pass the Auto Insurance Cost Reduction Act on May 19, 1998. The new law established care paths that greatly restricted those injured in motor vehicle accidents from accessing chiropractic care. Under that mandate, people injured in auto accidents were restricted to four visits.
The care paths were developed by Price, Waterhouse and Coopers (PWC), a large accounting firm which used a team of “three individuals with medical degrees, two nurses, and one MBA.” There were no chiropractors on the PWC team.
On November 4, 1998 Chiropractic America, filed suit against New Jersey Governor Christie Whitman, the commissioner of the Dept. of Banking and Insurance Jaynee LaVecchia, and the assistant commissioner for legislative and regulatory affairs to block the state’s new auto insurance reform law from going into effect (Chiropractic America v. LaVecchia).
Richard Jaffe Esq. again led the judicial battle for Chiropractic America. “This case has national significance,” Mr. Jaffe told the Houston Business Journal. “It will determine who makes treatment decisions: the doctor and the patient, or the state government and the insurance companies.”
And it did in fact have national significance. After a lengthy court battle, this case was finally decided in the US 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals. Chiropractic America was victorious and the insurance reform law was blocked.
Also in 1998, Chiropractic America successfully convinced the Florida Attorney General to reverse a rule that would have severely limited chiropractor’s ability to participate in any form of collective advertising. This time he was able to protect the rights of chiropractors without taking it all the way to the US Supreme Court. By testifying and presenting valid arguments, he was able to stop the rule (Rule 64B2-15.001 Florida Administrative Code) in its tracks.
Unfortunately for Chiropractic America and for chiropractic, by this time managed care was dramatically shifting financial realities and focus within the profession. By 1999, Chiropractic America’s membership numbers had begun to drop significantly. The advertising-oriented model that had been so helpful for the profession in the early to mid-1990s was no longer enough to overcome the realities of survival in a managed care driven healthcare system, and many chiropractors were forced to restrict their investment in marketing in order to afford other expenses of practice management.
In 2005, at the urging of another longtime friend, Gary was convinced that the timing was right for the effort to be revived – and that in fact it was needed more than ever before. There had been no market growth for some years and the reputation of the profession was lagging. Shortly thereafter, Gary found out he had cancer.
Gary spent the last few months he was able to work attending Parker Seminar in Las Vegas, meeting with leaders both inside and outside chiropractic in Colorado, Utah, Florida, Massachusetts and other locations garnering support for a reinvigorated and refocused Chiropractic America.
The results is a new website, www.YourSpine.com that serves as a central base to aggregate the power of thousands of doctors nationwide to promote spinal health and chiropractic. The new site is written for consumers as a spinal health advocacy and patient education resource. A program has been designed to place the site at the top of the search engine results for hundreds of health related web queries, thereby placing information about the benefits of chiropractic care in the hands of internet users at the exact moment they are in need of care.
The nation’s leading healthcare public relations firm, the Feinstein Kean Healthcare division of Ogilvy PR Worldwide has been retained to drive the message of chiropractic into the mainstream media. Establishing this relationship was literally the last act of Gary’s long and productive career as a servant to the chiropractic community. Additionally, national co-sponsorship arrangements are in negotiation that will continue and expand the tradition established through Gary’s earlier efforts.
Gary’s life work has been to spread the message of chiropractic. He inspired that passion in me, and I will continue the valuable work he began through Chiropractic America. Like many others involved with the chiropractic profession, I am indebted to Gary for his tireless efforts, and grateful for all he accomplished.
Garrison Younger Pomeroy
6-14-1957 to 11-28-2006